“The most beautiful part about your wedding day will be your story and your one-of-a-kind love for each other.”
Hi there, beautiful bride-to-be! Before we get started, I want you to know that I remember being in your shoes. The excitement, the nerves, the “oh my goodness, how am I going to get all of this planning done?!” feeling… and the butterflies you get in your stomach every time you picture your groom waiting at the end of the aisle. I remember it all so clearly!
When I was 16 years old, I fell in love with my best friend. We were just juniors at our small, private Christian high school, where we sat next to each other in every class. I couldn’t believe I was dating Justin, the goofy guy who could always make me laugh but was the exact opposite of my quiet and studious personality. I’m a firm believer that opposites attract… we are living proof of that! Fast forward 7 years and here we are in our one-bedroom apartment, living out our dream of date nights on the couch, adventures to places we’ve never been, and way too many trips to our favorite Mexican restaurant for endless homemade tortilla chips and grande margaritas (on the rocks, of course!).
When I’m not working in our London-themed loft, you can find me curled up with a caramel macchiato in one hand and a mystery novel in the other… and my sweet 15-year-old toy poodle somewhere nearby. I could spend hours perusing the local antique shop or used bookstore, wandering the quaint streets of a historic city, or planning every detail of our next great adventure abroad.
If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that I love romance, pretty details, and elegantly styled wedding days… but most importantly, I love the story that becomes the foundation of a beautiful marriage. It’s been an honor to capture the beginning of that story for so many amazing couples over the years, and I am so excited about the possibility of being a part of the start of your own love story.
If you could only shop at one store for the rest of your life, which would it be?
“ANTHROPOLGIE, GARAGE, TOPSHOP. In that order.”
What’s your favorite place you’ve ever traveled?
“That’s easy… London! THE ARCHITECTURE, THE TELEPHONE BOOTHS… THAT CITY IS PURE MAGIC.”
If you could spend an entire day with Netflix, what would you watch?
“Call The Midwife, Sherlock, and Game of Thrones. I’m still rooting for Daenerys.”
Where did you shoot your first wedding?
“At the church/school I grew up in. We took pORTRAITS in the field where I used to play as a little girl!”
If you could meet any living person, who would it be?
“Kate Middleton. Hands down. FOLLOWED BY STEPHEN HAWKING.”
What’s the coolest thing that’s ever happened to you?
“HANGING OUT BACKSTAGE WITH Taylor Swift ON my 18th birthday. SHE IS SO SWEET!”
What was your favorite detail from your wedding day?
“I wrote Justin a letter in 2011 and gave it to him ON OUR wedding MORNING 5 years later.”
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
“Homeowners with a fenced-in yard, a dog (or two) and kids of our own.”
We “don’t remember” when we met… because it was in daycare! I always said it was one of my greatest dreams to find a picture of the two of us as babies and the other day, it happened!! So crazy!!!
Justin has been a volunteer firefighter since 2009. One of our first dates included visiting the firehouse and having him show me around. It wasn’t complete until I tumbled down the slide from the 3rd story to the engine bay, shot out at the bottom and blasted right into the giant tire of the rescue engine. Good times.
Attending a private Christian school kindergarten through 12th grade met we got to spend a LOT of time together… we literally sat next to each other in every class from sophomore to senior year! We got in trouble more often than not for talking/giggling during lectures and got separated and banned from sitting beside each other more than once. Oops.
While I lived on campus my freshman year at George Mason University, Justin stayed back home for community college. It was the only time in our relationship that we were “long distance,” and it was tough! I came home virtually every weekend, and I eventually moved back to commute to GMU instead. I guess you can say love makes you do crazy things.
We got engaged at the “real” Cinderella’s castle in Bavaria, Germany and it was just as magical and romantic as you’d think! Granted, we were stranded by a blizzard in Iceland on our way over to Europe and arrived in Germany a full 48 hours late, missed our bus tour to the castle, and arrived at the ticket window with 30 seconds to spare before closing for the day. It’s the proposal story that almost didn’t happen! I’m SO glad it did!!!
Our dating anniversary is December 23rd, our engagement anniversary is December 20th, and Justin’s birthday is December 19th. When we picked our wedding date, we wanted it as far from December as possible! We love Christmastime and it will always be special to us… but it was that much more special to have a spring wedding and something new to celebrate every May! Our wedding anniversary is May 29th, 2016.
We got married at Big Spring Farm in Lexington, Virginia on the rainiest day imaginable. I remember sitting in the bridal suite watching the rain drops hit the water of the spring and thinking how calming and peaceful it was… our wedding day was like a dream in every sense of the word. It was far from logistically/aesthetically “perfect” and still the best, most exciting and fun day of our lives. I love reassuring my couples that regardless of the details, their wedding day will be the same for them!
Start a non-profit for teens who have lost a parent.
I don’t know the details yet… but I know it’s going to happen!
Go on an another overseas missions trip.
I volunteered in Haiti in 2013 and it was a life-changing experience!
Have a chocolate croissant while watching the Eiffel Tower light up the night sky.
I’ve seen it from an airplane, but that doesn’t count 😉
Submit a wedding to be published in Martha Stewart Weddings.
Or Brides, The Knot, Washingtonian Bride & Groom, Southern Weddings… etc.!
Be invited as a keynote speaker to an educational conference.
I loved being a leader at the Delight & Be photography intensive and a panelist for the Creative at Heart Conference!
Visit the castle where we got engaged in Bavaria…
…and stay overnight in one of the gingerbread houses! We love our German roots!
Shoot a destination wedding in Europe.
France, Italy, Spain… I’m up for anything! As long as there’s killer views.
Go to Brazil.
I’ve always dreamed of visiting the place where my dad grew up, seeing the falls, and meeting our sponsor child, Ana.
Pose for a picture in front of the Hollywood sign.
I’d also love it if someone mistook me for Drew Barrymore. I’ve been working on my lines!
Write a book.
Definitely non-fictional, but I’m still working on the story 😉
International Wedding Photographer based in Washington, D.C. for the elegant, head-over-heels in love bride who loves romantic details & daring adventures.
Copyright Megan Kelsey Photography 2017